Volunteers celebrated United Way’s Week of Caring by sprucing up the playground at the Bland County Head Start. This summer, the Head Start playground is on vacation, along with the children and teachers at Mt. CAP’s Bland center – making it the perfect project for United Way’s Week of Caring. Volunteers came together to fluff mulch, paint, and ensure the playground is in safe, working order for when the children return this fall. United Way of Southwest Virginia, Smart Beginnings Wythe/Bland/Tazewell and Bland Ministry Center recruited volunteers for today’s event.

Volunteers worked on improving the landscape of the playground as well as adjusting the equipment. Meanwhile, Smart Beginnings was able to use childcare quality improvement funding provided through Bland County Department of Social Services to purchase some new playground equipment for the children.

Mike Walker, Executive Director of Mt CAP (Mountain Community Action Program), was pleased that volunteers and other community agencies pitched in to improve the playground. “Head Start is doing great work to prepare our young children for school. The research is clear that outdoor play and exercise is a key ingredient in a successful pre-school program. So we want the best possible playground for Bland County’s children. Volunteers and the support of other agencies are making Head Start a better place for children.”

United Way of Southwest Virginia organized volunteer events throughout the region this week. Volunteers helped improve seniors’ homes, painted the Legal Aid office, and helped fix up a local child advocacy center. Uva Havens, Coordinator of Smart Beginnings, helped organize the event in Bland. She explained the support for Head Start: “We know that support and education for young children is the best investment a community can make. I am pleased that the Bland community is so supportive of Head Start and of young children.”

Mtn. CAP is now taking applications for this coming fall’s session of Head Start. For information about their Head Start program, check out their website at www.mountaincap.org